A Little Less Than Perfect

Hanging things on the walls of a 100-year-old house is a challenge. Nothing is straight, nothing is even. Not the floor boards, the base boards, the door frames, the walls or the ceilings. So you can imagine how difficult it is to hang pictures or wall decorations and have them appear perfectly straight. If you align them with the ceiling, you can guarantee they will not be parallel with the floor and vice versa. This can be quite maddening for a self-professed perfectionist.

For someone like me who loves, loves, LOVES straight lines, parallel lines, perpendicular lines, 90 and 45 degree angles… the decorating process can be nothing short of difficult. Now, I’m not talking “Alice-In-Wonderland” type screwy walls and floors… just your basic I’ve-been-sitting-here-for-100-years-and-the-ground-beneath-me-isn’t-level-and-therefore-I-am-going-to-settle-into-a-not-so-level-position-myself screwy walls and floors… In other words, things are just a little bit off.

The same thing applies to positioning furniture in-line with the ancient floor-boards. I once spent an entire Saturday morning trying to line my bed frame up with the floor boards, only to realize then that the accompanying area rug looked crooked. And the bedspread design, which is of course, vertical stripes wasn’t quite right.  Suffice it to say, I was glad no one was around to watch me obssessively ooch and scooch the bed (by degrees) this way and that… wondering where the fatal flaw was. Exasperated, I eventually just gave up.

I have done my best to hang, position and drape my décor in this not-so-perfect-but-full-of-character-house and adjust my concept of what “straight” really is. Usually I end up splitting the difference between the floor and ceiling with whatever piece I’ve chosen to be the “anchor” and try my best to ensure the surrounding pieces are as in-line with it as possible.

The same can be said of the people we choose to hang our “stuff” on in this life… our parents, our children, our friends, our spouses, our leaders. I mean, just like that 100-year-old house, no one is perfect. In fact, the very definition of the word “perfect” is: entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Now tell me… do you know ANY human being who fits that description? None of us have a perfectly straight, perfectly even, perfectly sound foundation. We all are loaded with flaws, defects and shortcomings.

So, when looking at those people who we deem to be the “anchors” in our lives, the absolute BEST we can ever really do is try and adjust our concept of what “perfect” really is by splitting the difference between expectation and reality. Recognize that those we love are not-so-perfect but full-of-character… And then do our best to ensure that the others we CHOOSE to surround ourselves with, are as in-line with us as possible in this less-than-perfect world.